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This must be the most exciting, quick and interesting MG TA we have ever owned. In 1999/2000, GUG 199 was subject of a major full nut and bolt rebuild to as new condition, in fact it was likely to be better than brand new. It’s long term owner, previously a prominent classic MG racing driver had the car rebuilt to an impressive high specification with various modifications that has taken the car to an outstanding level. GUG 199 was first registered in November 1938, a brown ‘buff’ continuation logbook confirms the MG was in East London during the 1960’s but disappeared completely off the radar until purchased by its last owner in the late 1990’s.
The MG TA was found after many years off the road in a very poor state and the decision was made to rebuild the car to the highest of standards with a re-conditioned chassis, new body tub, floorboards, ash frame, running boards and alloy wings. With the assistance of Pre War MG specialist Steve Baker who supplied thousands of pounds worth of new parts, GUG 199 was taken to an outstanding specification. The TA was treated to a new wiring loom, all new/rebuilt brakes, steering and suspension to include new wheel cylinders, brake hoses, road springs, leaf springs, king pins, trunnions, steering column, steering arms, steering box, new fuel tank, Facet fuel pump, bump stops, rear axle case and backplates and axle to spring mounting plates.
The interior was completely re-trimmed with brand new leather trim, new carpets, new dashboard, re-furbished speedo, rev counter, amp and oil gauges, all new grab handles, chrome trims, fittings and steering wheel. A new hood, tonneau cover, sidescreens and hood cover were fitted, and the exterior treated to new lamps, mirrors, TA radiator shell, re-chromed windscreen and various new finishing trims. Invoices for parts are present, from the major items to brackets, strikers, hinges and the many various nuts and bolts. Adding to the parts invoices are pages of hand written labour sheets detailing the diligent work carried out on this car.
From first glancing at the MG, the only sign of this being an uprated car are the wider rear wheels. However, when lifting the bonnet the Sprintex Supercharger and 1350cc MG TC engine is revealed. Interestingly, the 1350cc engine was from the previous owner's other MG, a well known and successful race car that when building this very special MG TA was fitted for nostalgic and performance purposes. In 1996, with this 1350cc supercharged engine, the previous owner, in his then MG TC won the MGCC race meet at Cadwell and qualified an impressive 11 seconds faster than its rivals, in 1997 the car finished 2nd place at The Silverstone Championship Races in the T Register Challenge and over several years the car with this very quick and proven engine had great success. Pre War specialist Steve Baker even accredits this car with this strong, quick engine for his own involvement in the Pre War MG racing scene.
This car was built with no expense spared and having this very special engine with the provenance attached was very important to its long term, passionate owner. Careful notes in the history file detail some of the finer detail of mechanical work to include using the TC race cars rear axle, dismantling and rebuilding it, modifying the exhaust manifold, piping up the fuel system and oil system to include fitting an oil cooler, re-conditioning the coolant system and upgrading with expansion tank and after market fan, rebuilding the gearbox with fresh bearings, fitting a new flywheel and new clutch.
Many years on since completion of the restoration, the MG presents in stunning condition. There is absolutely no doubt the ash frame, body and chassis are exceptional and having done 3200 miles, the running gear has nicely run in and settled. On the road our TA is a class act, its super quick, handles superbly and has proven completely reliable, robust and has been tested with various long distance and endurance road trips. The MG has been thoroughly enjoyed and has attended events all over the UK to include the Edinburgh trial and the Clee Hills Trial in Shropshire. Not only is GUG 199 superb to drive and in excellent mechanical and electrical order, it presents beautifully with superb paintwork, an exceptional tub, lovely brightwork and the re-trimmed upholstery still presents incredibly well almost 20 years since the restoration began. GUG 199 is an outstanding car, perhaps not for the purist but for anyone who wants to use a pre war MG to a potential way beyond a standard specification car. This is great fun, superbly well built and put together, and whilst it is highly upgraded, it still does retain a great deal of provenance and comes with an engine that has had real success on the MG racing scene. Whether its used for long distance touring, shows, events, hill climbs or just for weekend outings, this MG TA will not disappoint.